The Skirball Cultural Center was abuzz with excitement on November 2nd as nearly 400 of our community’s most dedicated women greeted one another at The Jewish Federation’s Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy’s Annual L’Dor V’Dor Luncheon.
Year after year, this event brings together passionate women who enjoy the chance to recognize a deserving honoree and to hear an entertaining guest speaker. But it’s not all fun and games. It’s serious business. These women are there to demonstrate their generosity and philanthropic support — to take the fire that has been lit within them to live Jewishly and pass it to the next generation, which we all know is not an easy job. We were thrilled by this year’s terrific turnout of younger women — an assurance that our values are being transferred.
The idea of igniting this spark, transforming it into a flame, and transferring it from one generation to the next — l’dor v’dor — ran through the remarks of the day. After a warm welcome by L’Dor V’Dor Co-Chairs Stephanie Gold and Joanna Taitz, Federation Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer Andrew Cushnir shared an explanation of how our Federation prioritizes the ignition of the spark that ensures the Jewish future. He highlighted Tour de Summer Camps, our community-wide cycling event that raises funds to afford more L.A. kids the summer camp experience — which has been proven to be the best way to launch a lifelong Jewish journey — and NuRoots, our initiative that reaches unengaged Jewish young adults through unique and interesting programming that speaks to them. Debi Graboff, Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy Co-Chair, emphasized the importance of Federation’s Community Leadership Institute (CLI), a passion project of hers, which creates young leaders who carry on our shared values. She concluded with an appeal to those in attendance to continue the legacy of the women who preceded them by making a gift to the Federation.
Andrew and Debi’s sentiments flowed seamlessly into the presentation and acceptance of the Doris Factor Women’s Leadership Award* — an honor given to a leader dedicated to the state of Israel who builds strong relationships with her peers and the community to support Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy. Wendy Moss Klein, this year’s honoree, has an exemplary Jewish story that mirrors exactly what our Federation aims to accomplish. It began when, at the young age of 14, she decided to donate the entire paycheck she earned as a summer camp counselor to Federation in support of Israel! She has been involved ever since, from starting the Etz Hayim division to chairing and co-chairing the Pritzker Series to co-chairing our annual Hillcrest Country Club event to vice chairing the annual L’Dor V’Dor luncheon, but valuing most our work to engage young Jewish people in Jewish life. Her vow: “L’dor v’dor, I promise to pass my passion and love for charity work to my daughter and son!”
Last but certainly not least, a most vivacious Archie Gottesman took the floor. With her unique brand of humor and energy, she delivered a playful presentation with a powerful message: Jewish people crave meaning, and they will find it elsewhere if we don’t give it to them. She offered tips for how we can work together to rebrand Judaism in our ever-changing Jewish world, some of which include decreasing “Jewbarrassment” by being more sensitive and responding with warmth when someone makes a mistake, and encouraging the implementation of new traditions. She suggested people check out her website Jewbelong.com for ways to enjoy more inspirational Jewish holiday celebrations. Her goal is to reach the unengaged and light the fire in them that’s been lit in her — so that they may light the fire in someone else. Archie closed with these wishes for the women of our Federation: “May they be blessed with the true knowledge and deep understanding of how many lives they touch every day. May they be blessed with the love of our community for which they are a backbone.”
Thank you to all of the women in our community for being a constant source of inspiration and working so hard to ensure that our children and grandchildren have a bright, vibrant Jewish future ahead of them.
L’Dor V’Dor, from generation to generation, is our Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy event to introduce friends to our Federation, engage first-time supporters, and connect women from across the generations in our community to each other and to our life-changing work. $500 minimum gift to The Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign required. First-time donors may make a minimum gift of $365.
*The Doris Factor Women’s Leadership Award was established to inspire young women to emulate the generations before them and assume leadership positions within the Jewish community. Doris Berman Factor was married to Louis Factor in 1929 and became part of a philanthropic family that helped in the development of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Jewish Home for the Aging, and The Jewish Federation. Doris herself had a strong commitment to Israel and to our local community, and was a founder of The Music Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Today, Sharon Glaser, Doris’s daughter Sharon, and Sharon’s daughter-in-law Nancy Glaser continue her legacy of inspiration, along with our Doris Factor Women’s Leadership Award winner.
For more information about L’Dor V’Dor, Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy, or our Federation, please contact Liron Yadin at (323) 761-8275 or LDorVDor@JewishLA.org.